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Friday will be biggest ever bonus day in UK

Alastair Graham, Spokesperson – PIF
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More people than ever before are expected to get an extra gift from their bosses by this Friday (22 December) as employers spend millions on festive bonuses and parties to counter threats of skill and worker shortages in 2018. Contributor Alastair Graham, Spokesperson – PIF.

The annual study by the Prepaid International Forum (PIF) of 2,000 UK workplaces reveals a 23 percent increase in the number of employees due to receive a festive reward or bonus. Just over one in five (21 percent) workers are due to get a Christmas bonus this year, compared to just 14 percent last year and 7 percent in 2014.

These findings are supported by reports from prepaid companies that provide services to employers looking to distribute Christmas rewards.

One member of PIF, One4All Rewards, a leading provider of corporate incentives, which provides multi-retail prepaid gift cards such as staff bonus or reward schemes, reports that sales to corporate and SME customers have risen by 25 percent, compared to the same period last year.

However, this generosity has more to do with business than it does Christmas spirit. Employers admit that their main motivation for such generosity is to retain staff after a year dominated by headlines about skills shortages and concerns about Brexit making it harder to recruit in 2018.

Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF, says: “Our study shows that businesses increasingly understand the importance of retaining their best staff and the impact that providing an annual “thank you” has on loyalty and motivation. “Christmas is a traditional time to show workers that you appreciate their efforts and provide a little extra to help them celebrate and enjoy themselves over the festive period.” Commenting on the rising trend Alan Smith, managing director of One4all Rewards said,

“We’re seeing companies plan their annual rewards earlier this year and in bigger numbers. It’s also noticeable how it’s not just large corporates that are planning their bonuses and rewards. Increasingly, smaller businesses are also getting in on the act. “We’ve carried out studies that show that even smaller value bonuses paid through non cash devices like gift cards can have a huge impact on staff motivation and loyalty, particularly with younger workers and those on lower wages for whom a little extra makes a big difference.”

Christmas parties also seem to be getting a boost this year.

Payment Card Solutions (PCS), another PIF member, has noted a 400 percent increase on last year from businesses ordering its prepaid cards to be used for Christmas party spending.

Paul Swinton, CEO of PCS, commented: “We’re especially seeing uptake from businesses with large national networks. More cards are being issued to managers with which to treat staff and help each store or office to organise their own Christmas party and use the prepaid card to fund the evening.”

Alastair Graham of PIF concluded that the attractiveness of its members’ prepaid gift and payment products to companies making bonus payments is that they all are regulated products. The strong customer protection they are required to provide under EU E-money Regulations ensures that all recipients really do have a very happy Christmas.